It’s all excitement at the Golden Lion Hotel in Stirling where we are gathering for the programme launch of this years premier Scottish Crime Festival, to be held in Stirling from 8-10 September. This will be the 6th Bloody Scotland Festval and its shaping up to be the best yet.
I’m here at the launch to get the news hot off the press, such is the scale of my anticipation. This is a festival which features the very best of Scottish and international crime writing as well as giving a great profile for new writers in the genre.
The Festival is sponsored by Bookdonors, a terrific organisation. Bookdonors is a not for profit social enterprise based in Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders. They trade in used books for the benefit of people, charities and the environment. 100% of sales are used to fulfil their social mission, which is to:-
Provide flexible adaptable employment opportunities ; To help protect our precious environment ;To provide additional income to a range of charities
The programme launch was sponsored by Stirling Gin – a huge shame I was driving!
So, what is in store for crime aficionados in September?
Well, let me tell you, this year’s programme is excellent. Not only does it have some huge names – Karen Rose; Ian Rankin (celebrating 30 years of Rebus) , Val McDermid (also celebrating 30 years of crime), Peter May, Chris Brookmyre, Mark Billingham and Lynda LaPlante, but there are several simply gorgeous panels. M.J. Arlidge and Robert Thorogood talk to Chris Dolan about bringing crime fiction to television.
In Can You Handle the Truth? G.J. Moffat, Steve Cavanagh and Imran Mahmood, each practicing law, discuss bringing their backgrounds into crime fiction.
Ragnar Jonasson, Thomas Enger and Lin Anderson travel from the frozen Cairngorms to Norway and Iceland. John Simenon (son of George’s) producer of the current ITV series, Margret and Graeme Macrae Burnet discuss their love of George’s Simenon’s Maigret.
There’s a truly packed programme where you are genuinely spoiled for choice. Ann Cleeves and Douglas Henshall deconstruct Jimmy Perez. Simon Kernick, Hayley Beck and Simon Toyne explore their twisty talents. Denise Mina and Liz Nugent explore Celtic and Criminal connections.
There’s so much in this year’s programme that I’m not going to list everything – it’s all on the website and in the published programme.
But for my colleague crime loving fans, let me stress that new writers feature strongly again this year. We’ll have lots of chances to admire the diverse talents of our writers – whether singing at the Crime at the Curly Coo event, playing in the now traditional Scotland v England football match, taking part in the quiz, or acting in the Inspector Faro play crafted by Alanna Knight; there’s a lot to laugh and have fun with this year.
Even better, there’s now a Bloody Scotland cocktail, so ŵhat could be better?
The Festival opens on 8th September with a Gala reception at Stirling Castle. Have a glass or two of fizz while the Bloody Scotland Anthology of new short stories is launched and the winner of this year’s prestigious McIlvanney Prize is announced. Then collect your flaming torch and join the torchlight procession through the old town towards the Rebus event at the Albert Halls.
As Chris Brookmyre said at the launch, crime writers love this festival. Not just because it is relaxed and informal an offers a chance for writers to let their hair down (if they have any), but also because Bloody Scotland delivers an enthusiastic, appreciative and growing audience.
It’s a brilliant event – trust me, you will not want to miss it! So get clicking now, before you miss your chance. The Bloody Scotland website is here.